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Spanish Word Names

Spanish Word Names
The parent in search of truly distinctiveSpanish baby names has to move farther than ever away from the established roster. One new direction — or is it two? — for the intrepid baby namer is toward foreign-word names, which combine two of today's coolest trends. A handful of Spanish word names are already hot in the US, such as Luna, meaning "moon," and Cruz, the word for "cross."

Along with Luna and Cruz, other Spanish word names in the US Top 1000 include Alma, Dulce, Esmeralda, Julio, Leon, Luz, Maximo, Paloma, and Salvador. In Spain, word names such as Alba, Vega, Candela, and Mar are popular for girls.

We combed our own diccionarios for French, Italian, and Spanish words that could make perfectly appropriate, attractive baby names, and here are some Spanish ideas. But no reason to stop here — consider words from the language of your own ethnic background, be it Czech or Chinese, and add them to the list of your personal possibilities.
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LunaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "moon"
  • Description:

    The name of the Roman goddess of the moon, Luna is derived straight from the Latin word for moon, luna. Luna’s divine complement is Sol, the god of the Sun. In Roman art, Luna is often depicted driving a chariot.

IslaHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish place-name or Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "island"
  • Description:

    Isla, the Spanish word for island, is also the name of a Scottish river, an island (spelled Islay), and the red-haired actress Isla Fisher, married to Sacha Baron Cohen. A top girls' name in the US, Isla is also popular overseas, especially in England, Wales, and her native Scotland.

AuroraHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "dawn"
  • Description:

    Aurora is the name of the Roman goddess of sunrise whose tears turned into the morning dew. She was said to renew herself by traveling from East to West across the sky, announcing the arrival of the sun each dawn. Aurora is also associated with the scientific term for the Northern Lights, Aurora Borealis.

ClaraHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "bright, clear"
  • Description:

    Long relegated to an Olde World backwater, the European-flavored Clara has been speeding up the charts on sleeker sister Claire's coattails for the past few decades. Now, many would say the vintage chic Clara is the more stylish of the two names. Actor Ewan McGregor was an early celebrity adopter of the name for one of his daughters.

CelesteHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "heavenly"
  • Description:

    Celeste is a softly pretty and somewhat quaint name with heavenly overtones, which kids might associate with Queen Celeste of Babar's elephant kingdom. She's a light and lovely choice that's finally getting noticed.
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MiraHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin, Slavic, Arabic, Sanskrit
  • Meaning:

    "admirable; peace; female ruler; ocean"
  • Description:

    This name owes its present life to actress Sorvino. Mira and Mirra have an arty aura. Mira is a true cross-cultural choice, with the literal meaning of "look" in Spanish, a peaceful meaning in several Eastern European languages, a well-used name in Arabic cultures meaning queen-like or a female ruler, and a nature name in Sanksrit. In Greek, it means "fate, destiny". Mira can also be a short form of Miryam or Miranda.

LeonHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek variation of Leo
  • Meaning:

    "lion"
  • Description:

    Leon is one of the leonine names that is extremely hot in Europe right now. Although it peaked here in the 1920s, it is slowly making its way back, and it could climb further with parents wanting a more serious and studious alternative to Leo.

VictoriaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "victory"
  • Description:

    Victoria is the Latin word for “victory” and a feminine form of Victor. It is the name of the ancient Roman goddess of victory, the equivalent of the Greek Nike, and also a popular third century saint. Queen Victoria, for whom the Victorian Era is named, ruled over England for over sixty-three years.

EsmeraldaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish and Portuguese
  • Meaning:

    "emerald"
  • Description:

    Esmeralda came into use as an applied use of the Spanish word for emerald, esmeralda. In the 1831 Victor Hugo novel Notre-Dame de Paris, also known as The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, the heroine was born Agnes, but called La Esmeralda in reference to the jewel she wears around her neck. The name Esmeralda got increased visibility via the Disney version of the story.

AlbaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "white"
  • Description:

    Alba is quietly making a behind-the-scenes comeback, perhaps thanks to actress turned baby-product mogul Jessica Alba. Last on the Top 1000 a century ago, the name was given to more than 150 baby girls in the US last year. Alba might be tomorrow's successor to Ava and Ella. In Spain, Alba ranks among the Top 10 girls' names. Alba is the name of a character in The Time Traveler's Wife.
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AlmaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "nurturing, soul"
  • Description:

    Alma is a somewhat solemn, soulful name that had a burst of popularity a century ago, then faded into the flowered wallpaper, and is now finding its footing once more.

PalomaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "dove"
  • Description:

    Paloma is vibrant and ruby-lipped a la jewelry designer Paloma Picasso, but it also suggests peace, as symbolized by the dove. Paloma is a highly recommended striking but soft name, one of the best of the names that mean peace and girls' names starting with P.

RosaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latinate variation of Rose
  • Meaning:

    "rose, a flower"
  • Description:

    As sweet-smelling as Rose but with an international flavour, Rosa is one of the most classic Portuguese, Spanish and Italian names, which is also favored by upper-class Brits, having an ample measure of vintage charm. Rosa has been on the popularity charts for every year that's been counted, especially popular from the 1880s through the beginning of the twentieth century.

RioHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "river"
  • Description:

    Rio is a reductive ranchero place-name with an attractive Tex-Mex lilt. No Doubt's Tom Dumont has a son named Rio Atticus.

SolHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "sun"
  • Description:

    Although pinochle-playing partner Sam came out of retirement, we don't see it happening to Sol. Near soundalike Saul has more of a shot.
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CruzHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "cross"
  • Description:

    For a single-syllable Latino surname, this new popular kid on the block packs a lot of energy and charm and is one of the most stylish Spanish names for boys in general use today. Victoria and David Beckham named their third son Cruz, following Brooklyn and Romeo, and it was also picked up on by tennis star Lleyton Hewitt for his son. Other parents may prize its Christian associations.

LeonaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "lioness"
  • Description:

    A Top 100 name from 1896 to 1921, Leona reached as high as Number 72. Since then, Leona had seemed to be one of the most unfashionable of the pride of lion names, but singer Leona Lewis has done a lot to rejuvenate it. Leona returned to the Top 1000 in 2009 after decades of being away.

SenaHeart

  • Origin:

    Korean; Hindi; Arabic; African
  • Meaning:

    "this world's beauty or grace; army; to praise; bringing heaven to earth"
  • Description:

    Sena is one of those names that is as obscure in the Western World as it is simple and straightforward. Sena exists as a name in a range of languages and cultures and may be pronounced like Senna (with a soft e) or Sienna. Sena is also a place name, a surname, the name of several groups of people, and the name of a genus of moth as well as a kind of wine, among other things. The similar Cinna from The Hunger Games may make Sena more plausible as a first name.

SierraHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "saw"
  • Description:

    Sierra is a name borrowed from the western mountain range, with Latin rhythm and cowboy charm, that has led to many offshoots: Cierra, Cyara, and so on. It is now probably past its peak but retains its pretty-yet-strong sound. The meaning refers to the sharp, irregular peaks of some of the Western mountains such as the Sierra Nevada.

DoloresHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "lady of sorrows"
  • Description:

    Though it's related to the Virgin Mary, this name was once perceived as the height of sensuality, a role since taken over by nicknames Lola and Lolita.
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ReinaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish, Yiddish or Japanese
  • Meaning:

    "queen; pure; wise"
  • Description:

    An appellation for the Virgin Mary, "Queen of the apostles." After three years off the US popularity charts, Reina rejoined the list in 2014, though it lags behind alternate spellings Raina, Rayna, and Reyna. It is also used in Yiddish and in Japanese.

MonteHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Montgomery, Norman
  • Meaning:

    "man power"
  • Description:

    Monte, pronounced with two syllables as brother Monty, is an old-fashioned nickname-name that's reclaiming a certain amount of dash and charm. It was recently chosen by actor Guy Pearce--which may signal a comeback.

SalvadorHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish from Latin Salvator
  • Meaning:

    "savior"
  • Description:

    A common epithet of Christ, frequently heard in the Hispanic community, Salvador could also be a great choice for artistic parents, given the continuing popularity of Dada and Surrealist painter Salvador Dalí. (If Monet and Raphael get a look in, why not Salvador?)

LuzHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "light"
  • Description:

    Pronounced LOOSE, this name that refers to the Virgin Mary—"Our Lady of Light"—is one of the most widely used Spanish name for girls. Its sleekness and stylish final z gives it a modern appeal, like sister name Lux. Nicknames and variations include Chitta, Lucecita, Lucelida, Lucelita, Lucha, Lucida, Lucila, Lusa, and Luzana.

EstrellaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "star"
  • Description:

    Rising star among Hispanic families that would make a good cross-cultural choice. A morepopular name with the same stellar meaning is Esther
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VidaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "life"
  • Description:

    Like Vita and Viva, one of several similar life-affirming names, this one was chosen by Matthew McConaughey and his Portuguese-born wife Camila. Vida may also be a diminutive of Davida. Australian suffragette and human rights campainer Vida Goldstein is an notable bearer of this name.

EsperanzaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "hope, expectation"
  • Description:

    Esperanza is a Spanish classic that's found its way onto the national popularity list in recent years. It came into the spotlight not long ago when jazz singer Esperanza Spalding "stole" the Best New Artist Grammy from favorite Justin Bieber. It's also the name of the main character in the novel The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, about a young Latina growing up in Chicago.

DiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Mbama, Sanskrit, Latin, and Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "love; lamp; heavenly; day"
  • Description:

    A sweet and simple multicultural choice which has several different meanings and origins.

LindaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish, Portuguese and Italian word name meaning "pretty"
  • Meaning:

    "pretty"
  • Description:

    Linda will live forever in baby name history for toppling Mary from its four hundred year reign as Number 1. Queen of Names in 1947, Linda has fallen even further in favor than Mary today.
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ReyHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "king"
  • Description:

    Sounds exactly like Ray—but with an on-trend royal vibe. The central protagonist in the newest Star Wars trilogy is a woman named Rey.

PilarHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "pillar"
  • Description:

    The fact that this Spanish classic, which honors the Virgin Mary, does not end in the conventional letter 'a' gives it a special sense of strength, elegance, and style, making it a worthy choice.

RenoHeart

  • Origin:

    Place-name
  • Description:

    Has a lively and swaggering sound, and also some unfortunate associations with Reno, city of gambling and failed marriages.

MariposaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "butterfly"
  • Description:

    Mariposa is a rare, romantic choice with an intriguing meaning.

AroHeart

  • Origin:

    Finnish diminutive of Aaron
  • Description:

    Aro is a cute name from Scandinavia which, given the popularity of similar names like Milo, Arlo etc might be ripe for more usage outside of the Nordic countries.
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RicoHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish, diminutive of Ricardo
  • Meaning:

    "dominant ruler"
  • Description:

    Consider this short form for your little Richard.

BonitaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "pretty"
  • Description:

    Like Benita, had some popularity in the fifties.

SoledadHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "solitude"
  • Description:

    This strong Spanish name that refers to the Virgin Mary (Our Lady of Solitude) has been made accessible by broadcaster Soledad O'Brien -- who shows how well it combines with an Anglo surname. Her birth name was Maria de la Soledad Teresa O'Brien.

CanyonHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish word name
  • Description:

    Canyon is a unique baby name evocative of natural splendor and the old Steve Canyon comic-strip heroism, making it an intriguing new word-name possibility.

CieloHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian
  • Meaning:

    "sky"
  • Description:

    Expansive, sunny Italian word name.
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SantosHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "saint, holy"
  • Description:

    The Spanish and Portuguese variation of the all-saints name. Santos is a name that has appeared in the US Top 1000 every year except for two: 1913 and 1915.

PerlaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish variation of Pearl
  • Description:

    Consistently popular Latina gem name; good choice for those who can't shake Pearl's grandmotherly vibe.

MarHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "sea"
  • Description:

    The Spanish and Portuguese word for "sea" is a Top 100 name in Spain. In America, it's sometimes used as a nickname for names like Martina and Marina, but it could also plausibly stand on its own.

RiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "small river"
  • Description:

    Short and feminine, Ria has a rhythmic flow.

RocioHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "dewdrops"
  • Description:

    This name, which refers to Mary as the Virgin of the Dew, is all but unknown in the Anglo community, but popular enough in Hispanic families to put it in the U. S. Top 1000, at least until 2006.
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MargaritaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish, Russian, Greek
  • Meaning:

    "pearl, daisy"
  • Description:

    Margarita is an international form of Margaret that shares its meaning of "pearl", but also directly translates to "daisy" in Spanish. Despite being widely associated with the alcoholic beverage in English, it has a long history of use in Spanish, Greek and several Slavic languages – most notably being the name of the heroine of Mikhail Bulgakov's 1966 novel Master and Margarita. It currently ranks in the Top 30 girl names in Russia.

DulceHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "sweet"
  • Description:

    Popular Portuguese and Spanish name that refers to "dulce nombre de Maria" -- the sweet name of the Virgin Mary. English variant Dulcie has a different pronunciation.

ConsueloHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish from Latin
  • Meaning:

    "she who brings consolation"
  • Description:

    Consuelo is a chic, highly sophisticated Spanish name that works well with Anglo surnames. It was regularly on the U.S. popularity list through 1983, reaching as high as Number 339 in 1930.

AlondraHeart

  • Origin:

    Pet form of Alejandra or Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "lark"
  • Description:

    A Spanish TV show made this one popular, along with single-named Mexican singer, Alondra.

VelaHeart

  • Origin:

    Sanskrit
  • Meaning:

    "shore, coast"
  • Description:

    Vela is one of those rare names that is at once simple, straightforward, authentic, and unusual, at least in the Western World. Besides being an Indian girls' name, Vela is a Southern sky constellation whose name is Latin for sail.
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